Author Topic: One link in the chain  (Read 4020 times)

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Offline astrodude

One link in the chain
« on: February 27, 2015, 11:53:36 am »
Hi, I am new to this forum and if I am in the wrong topic let me know. I am going on a bike tour to do the Utah Cliffs route, about 300 miles, with some friends. My chain broke but was able to fix it with one link and it seems to work fine now. Should I get a new chain or go with the one linked replaced chain?  :-\

Offline DaveB

Re: One link in the chain
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2015, 12:13:35 pm »
The answer depends on two things:

1. What width of chain is it?
2. How did you do the repair?

If the chain is 8-speed or narrower and you repaired it by reusing one of the original pins, the chain is badly compromised and should be replaced.

If the chain is an older 5/6-speed or you repaired it with a specific joining pin for Shimano chains or a master link such as a KMC Missing Link or SRAM master link it should be OK.  That assumes it didn't break initially because it was so worn or badly damaged prior to the repair.

If you do replace it with a new chain and the old one had significant miles on it, the new one may skip badly on your old freewheel or cassette.  You may have to replace the freewheel or cassette also.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: One link in the chain
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 04:40:42 pm »
If you ended up taking one link out of the chain, you'll want to replace the chain ASAP.  You can get by for a while being careful to avoid the big-big chainring/cog combination, but sooner or later you'll mess up and try to shift into that gear.  When (not if) that happens, Bad Things result.  Possible Bad Things include you damage the derailer and have to replace it; you damage the derailer hanger and might need a new frame; the derailer goes into the wheel and breaks a bunch of spokes, ending up with you have to replace the rear wheel; or all of the above.  Do yourself and replace the chain now before Bad Things happen.

Offline DaveB

Re: One link in the chain
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 06:41:52 pm »
Pat is correct if your current chain was sized to just allow big-big or, worse, wouldn't allow it before it broke.  One absolute necessity for chain length is that it has to clear big-big as dreadful things can happen if you inadvertently shift into it and the chain is too short.   Yes, we all know you shouldn't cross-chain but some day you will.

If your now shorter chain will still allow big-big, you are mechanically ok but be SURE it will.

Offline dkoloko

Re: One link in the chain
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2015, 11:10:30 am »
Not sure about one link; most times two links add or subtract. As to dire results mentioned, I have shifted  many times to big big combination and had no worst result than having to get off the bike to free the chain. I have reused pin in chain many times without failure. Not all chain brands warn against replacing pin. For those, I carry spare links to replace ones can't reuse. Tool less chain link connectors are also option. Of course, if you have to ask, maybe it is better to take the most conservative advice.

Offline BrianW

Re: One link in the chain
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2015, 08:50:59 pm »
Chains are cheap. Get a new one if you have any doubts.

Offline astrodude

Re: One link in the chain
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 09:10:15 am »
Thanks to all the information and the advice was perfect. With the information obtained I did some home work and figured out that I have an 8 spirochete and 1/8 inch chain. I replaced the link with a new link and measured the chain using the 12 inch rule and found that I have little if any wear on the chain. I then took the bike for a spin and had no problems. I think I am OK but I think I will error on the side of safety and when we do our Utah Cliffs ride will bring an extra chain. :)

vb

Offline DaveB

Re: One link in the chain
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 09:56:15 am »
As to dire results mentioned, I have shifted  many times to big big combination and had no worst result than having to get off the bike to free the chain. I have reused pin in chain many times without failure. Not all chain brands warn against replacing pin.
Apparently your chain was long enough to make the big-big shift because if it wasn't, getting off the bike to free the chain would not have done any good. 

Reusing a chain pin in older 5/6-speed chains was done safely all the time.  Reusing a pin in an 8-speed or narrower chain is a gamble.  You may get away with it and you may not but the chain has certainly been compromised.  I don't know of any maker of 8, 9 10 or 11-speed chains that does not warn against reusing a standard pin.   They all provide specific joining pins or a master link. 

Offline PeteJack

Re: One link in the chain
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 10:41:59 am »
Some time ago someone told me my chain looked slack when I was using the granny gear. Without checking the length properly or anything sensible like that I took a link out. Problem fixed, slackness gone. Then when climbing the notorious Devil's Slide hill on the Pacific Coast Hwy. (very busy, no shoulder) I inadvertently shifted to the big-big combination. The chain jammed instantly. It was so tight I couldn't move the chain off the chain ring or sprocket even by pulling on it sideways never mind the derailers.

I ended up climbing into the ditch to try to fix it and had to remove and replace the jockey wheel to get some slack so I could ride again. At the first opportunity I replaced the chain and now I live with the 'slack' which is probably due to a fairly big difference between the largest and smallest chain rings, 51 - 24.

Moral of story. Beware of chain shortening and  put a new chain on if anything is the least bit suspect.